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Charter Oak State College Enrollment Up 38%
The College's current enrollment is now at 2,836 students with over 2,000 of those students registered for online courses.

2015-2016 Reminder to Complete FAFSA for Upcoming Academic Year
The Office of Financial Aid at Charter Oak State College would like to remind you that the FAFSA for the 2015-2016 academic year is now available.

Transform CSCU 2020 Town Hall Meeting Held
On Monday 9/22, Charter Oak State College held our Transform CSCU 2020 Town Hall meeting at our campus and online.

Omar Rosario named Student Speaker for Charter Oak State College commencement
Omar Rosario named Student Speaker for Charter Oak State College commencement

U.S. Senator Christopher S. Murphy to Give 2014 Commencement Speech
Graduation to be held June 1

New CT Education Academy to Launch
Academy will provide training for CT state workforce

Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education
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Portfolio Program

Adults learn constantly - on the job, in relationships, through hobbies, life events, reading, travel, volunteer work, etc. As an adult student, you may have acquired college-level learning outside the traditional college classroom in several areas. Portfolio Assessment is a way to receive credit for learning that occurred outside the traditional college classroom and outside of training that has been reviewed for credit. The Portfolio Program provides a form of assessment, similar to testing, of what you have learned through your life experience and enables you to demonstrate that your learning is equivalent to a specific college course so you can challenge that course for credit.


  • Portfolio assessment is a convenient, flexible way to earn credit for courses.
  • Portfolio assessment is cost effective; it typically costs much less than college tuition.
  • You can adapt portfolio assessment to your schedule and time constraints. Once you have successfully completed the IDS 102: Prior Learning Portfolio Development course, you are free to work as your schedule permits, preparing additional portfolios for submission at any time of the year.
  • Portfolio assessment provides proof of your experiential learning, sometimes called life learning.
  • Research has shown that constructing a prior learning portfolio has educational benefits, including enhancing your understanding of your own learning.

Requires Proving What You've Learned

Portfolio Assessment is not a fast or easy way to get credit without work. It will take time to plan, write, and prepare each portfolio.

Portfolio Assessment is not a way to submit your resume or documents to be evaluated for college credit. The portfolio process requires your active participation by writing a narrative and compiling supporting evidence that clearly links to the course learning objectives.

Portfolio Assessment is not a way to get credit for experience alone. Experience is what happens to you. Learning is the result of thinking about what happened, analyzing and interpreting it, and using your interpretation to make decisions that affect how you perceive and deal with the world around you. You must be able to show that you have learned from your experience and it matches a college course.

Further Consideration

Note that credit is awarded for the knowledge gained, not for the experience itself, which is no guarantee of learning. Attending a 4-week training program doesn't ensure that you will learn what is taught in the classes, so we can't award credit on the basis of your attendance certificate alone. Just as students who sit in a classroom are asked to provide evidence of their learning through papers and tests, you are asked to provide proof that you really do have the knowledge you claim.

Being able to show evidence that you were there and that college-level material was being presented is a step in the right direction, but such evidence must be bolstered by demonstration of the knowledge you've gained. Preparing a portfolio provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate that knowledge.

Portfolio Course

Portfolio Assessment Process

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Contact the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Office with questions.